Conventions such as dates were fuzzy in the first century, so a date had to be surmised to be called the anniversary of His death. We know that He and His Friends were celebrating Passover when it happened, but that is a week-long ceremony that changes dates based on the difference between the Jewish calendar and the solar calendar. No one really knows with any concrete certainty the exact day that He died because the day within Passover is vague. Nonetheless, many of us honor His death every year and subsequently we honor His triumphant return to life three days later.
By now, most of you know who I am talking about. While I am sure that there were others who could see the inherent equality among people, Jesus of Nazareth struck the longest lasting picture of egalitarian behavior that the world has ever seen. His followers have spread His message, even though it does seem to get distorted sometimes. I recently read the book Jesus Feminist by Sara Bessey, which relates an interesting view on how to follow in His footsteps and explains exactly how feminism was something He championed without calling it that. As noted before, this is a qualifier for a type of feminist, it is not wholly calling Jesus a feminist. He was an egalitarian that taught compassion and peace no matter your station in life. He understood that there was only so much progress we could make in His tenure while maintaining free will. He forever changed the church, not necessarily every aspect of the cultures He encountered.
Culture has continued to plague all those who Jesus wished to be freed. Somewhere along the way, we started to see how much of the culture was a problem and abolitionists, suffragists, feminists and now masculists have come from this desire. Strides are made every day and many are not related to the deeds or words of the Son of Man who came to rid of us of these own sins. He exists in each of these steps toward progress, even when spoken or performed by those who don’t believe in Him. His words and deeds have been twisted to fit people’s perceptions and culture so much over the years that non-believers have an easy time disparaging it. They also seem to enjoy that many Christians haven’t read the Bible or studied enough to make a concise and accurate argument every time. I am guilty of that sometimes. Jesus Feminist, the book, gives a great lesson on all of these things and I recommend it to anyone and understand just how much of the modern world’s compassion is something that He wished for us all.
On this anniversary of His death, whether you are Christian, atheist, or of another religion, please at least have a moment of silence in honor of one of the first men who taught us that progress is a product of loving your neighbor as yourself and compassion is to be striven for.